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tv   C-SPAN Weekend  CSPAN  March 13, 2011 3:00am-6:00am EDT

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coe and the u.s. government. this is a essential step in determining the congo future. we are encouraged to watch the elections that are well an transparently admin stirred an conducted in an environment that is conducive to free political expression. the other preoccupation is the area of governance is human rights, and the adequate of state capacity and the existing state forces continue to fuel existing abuses against the civilians. the undertaking of substantial programmatic efforts expanding the 2009 pledge of $17 million assistance to respond to an prevent sexual-based, sexual and gender-based violence. we are supportive of modest, but encouraged developments in a few key areas including the arrest and conviction of handful of high profile alleged abusers and the drc's plans to develop special chambers to prosecute
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those who committed atrocities, but the situation is one of impunity, and many more positive developments will be required to reverse the trend. the third theme is economic recovery which is essential in providing alternatives to enlistmentt and armed groups and laying the foundation for development. we are enp couraging the drc government to take the necessary steps to improve the investmentt climate, and the enhance of the mining sector. with the mining in the drc's provinces, we are working to make sure that the minerals leaving the drc can be traced to the origins and abusive armed forces are cut out of the trade. finally, it is worth emphasizing that the renewed cooperation of the drc and the other nations is a cornerstone of the progress. the cooperation while vastly improved over the last two years needs to deepen further in the face of new developments such as the emergence of the independent
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southern sudan, and helping to empower the congolese people and the government to address the challenges they face will take time and persistence. the u.s. government intends to stay a strong partner over the long term. the drc has focussed the attention of the united states and the government and the activities under the assistant of african affairs incorporated with the ambassadors in the field, and interagency and the ngo community partners and the donor community. mr. chairman, and members of the committee, thank you for giving me an opportunity to speak to you today and i will submit a longer version for the record. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. ambassador, thank you very much for your testimony. i'd like to yield to the second distinguished witness. >> good afternoon, chairman smith, ranking member payne, members of the subcommittee. thank you for invite meg to discuss with you about the foreign assistance activities of the usaid and the democratic
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republic of congo which is particularly relevant in recognition of the international women's day today. my name is raja, and i'm the deputy developmental administrator in the african bureau since october of 2010 and prior to joining the government, i had an opportunity to work on the continent for 17 years, including the congo and the -- and to address the themes that ambassador yamamoto has raised to the peace and security and progress toward governance and economic development and health and well-being of the population. as part of the presidential policy directive on economic, on development which was issued recently, and in support of our policies toward the democratic republic of congo, and administrator shaw's efforts to look at the review and look at
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our approaches to our assistance on the continent we really have taken an effort to look at congo as a very complex challenge in terms of sudan and in somalia, so we have really got a strategy review that is going on the look at the complex operations on the continent. drc is yet another example of a place where diplomacy and development are critical to assisting the congolese solutions for their current challenges and lay the groundwork for meeting the aspirations of the population at the end of the day, and build a nation that contributes to regional stability. and in that effort, we work with both regional organizations, international partners and national institutions, both in the short term and in the long term. u.s. recognizes enormous challenges, financial resources required to improve the conditions and in that regard, the u.s. government continues to be the largest donor in drc
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providing $306 million in bilateral assistance in fiscal year 2010 and plus support to the u.n. peacekeeping operations, and the multilateral institutions like the undp and u.n. agencies. u.n. foreign assistance is coordinated among agencies through country assistance strategy that outlines our plans for the u.s./congolese cooperation in addressing the immediate needs as well as long-term development needs. in addition, we are one of 19 bilateral and multilateral donors participating in the common assistance framework established in 2007 with government of the democratic republic of the congo. this gives us the opportunity as the international community to really leverage our assets and how we bring pressure and establish a dialogue with the congolese on the objectives in the congo. mr. chairman, i would like to review the major development
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challenges in the drc and current summary of the usaid activities to address them. written testimony has been submitted. the drc, and in particular in the east continues to experience instability, violent conflict, and widespread population displacement. a key area of oconcern remains the lord's resistance army, and usaid promoting community through reconciliation, and infrastructure and livelihoods recovery and reintegration. our office is a foreign disaster assistance and food for peace are ongoing commitments to provide emergency humanitarian and relief where lar are active. we are currently working as a regional strategy in support of the lra issues as part of the northern uganda strategy as well to find the linkages in northern uganda and the congo. we are guards to the conflict minerals, our activities are in support of the 2010 dodd/frank
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legislation which includes reporting requirements for mineral origins, and drc, the legal mineral trade fields are improved an undermines legitimate economic activity. to reduce the security and governance problems regarding the conflict trade and conflict minerals that result in the violence, usaid seeks to improvens forment of the drc mining code through our regulatory support and rehabilitation of roads and build capacity for better monitoring and transparency including certification. adds dressing human rights a abuses and gender-based violence is a high priority for the usaid. it is to provide services for victims of rape, and survivors and families including rape counseling and legal aid where women are afraid to report to the local authorities and how we
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deal with the local justice to support their efforts. more importantly, we support women, survivors and livelihoods. many times they are not participating in the community recovery activities that are taking place. in addition to addressing the immediate needs of the survivors usaid has supported drafting critical legislation and subsequent prosecution related to sexual violence, and this continues to be an ongoing challenge given the weakness in the justice institutions and sectors, and we are trying to work with both at the national level and the community justice mechanisms at the moment. in turning to democracy and governance, usaid works on capacity building among legislators, civil society organizations and media. we also work to improve the independence of the judicial sectors and bring legal services to remote populations, such as mobile courts where they are possible. in preparation of the drc's
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presidential and elections planned for this fall, usaid continues to build on the strengths and centers of outreach and mobilization. more than 8.2 million voters across the drc's 11 provinces are expected to be reached by civic education programs and leveraging other resource programs to leverage the population in a transparent manner. in terms of social services, health sectors are our largest priority at the moment given the violence and in termings of preventing a lot of the health related epidemics that we find in the congo. usaid seeks to strengthen primary health care in addition to the support for hiv and aids and we support malaria programs. as chairman smith mentioned, we support two important fis you la
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hospit -- fistula hospitals which have treated 2,000 women and received repair surgeries in 2010 and we plan to extend the outreach of the services. we have brought together 12 providers of the services to ensure that there is a network that they learn and exchange ideas on these issues. and we also contributed to the national fistula strategy in the congo. lastly, in alignment with feed the future initiative that the usaid is investing in africa, the promoting agricultural sector as a means of economic growth is a high priority for usaid. in fiscal year 2010, programs assisted nearly 40,000 householes and more than 500 producers in associations of improving the agricultural management practices and use of technology. in conclusion, despite many des the complex challenges to development, us foreign assistance is making a difference with children being
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reunited with families after being trafficked or abused. health care workers are gaining skills necessary for cure rative measures. across areas where foreign assistance is needed, we are promoting approach that addresses long-term sustainable development. members of the subcommittee, thank you for your attention and i look forward to answering your questions and providing additional information. thank you for your testimony. >> let me start off by, mr. aflak in his testimony with regards to the elections.
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i would ask whether or not you think that gap would be bridged and by whom? he requests that the u.s. government takes a hard look and asks if offering the assistance to truly support a free and fair election is there. >> with regards to the strategy, is that going to be coming soon or has it been sent up today? if you could give us a timeline for that and give us an idea of what would be included.
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it has dropped in the recommendations made in the tip report. one of the key recommendations is to punish other law enforcement personnel accused of unlawfully constricting child soldiers. i'm wondering if you could tell us. this report was issued last year in the beginning of summer. whether or not any progress has been made in the area of trafficking both for labor and child soldiering if you could address that. do you anticipate that the numbers will go up in terms of repair and by how many? do you have a slope as to how
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you hope to build that capacity for fistula and on the issue of faith-based. we will be hearing from the catholic relief services in our second panel. if we want to combat all health issues, the estimates are up to 70% of health care is provided by faith based organizations or churches in africa and it would seem that we want to better utilize that monechanismechanis. and then during my trip part of what caused me to go there, was the on going problem you know it is bad enough that soldiers in the army and militia groups are
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committing terrible crimes against women, but we discovered that the peace keepers were committing these crimes against young children. i had three hearing on the abuse by peace keepers. but she was emphatic that there needs to be a zero tolerance policy regarding women and children. i know that has changed but we were told there are some 33 allegations since january of 2010 to february of this year. you need more than only two
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investigators which i think enables how these crimes are committed. so if you could address that as well. >> in terms of the elections being held in november, we see it as part of a broader strategy required to build a coalition in congo. and we have three charges. one is partner in terms of financial resources. we are contributing to a basket fund at the moment. and we are working to see how that gap can be filled in the coming months. and taking support and technical assistance with some degree of
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support from our regional organizations. we are working with the other partners to see how we can fill the gap at the moment. >> can i ask how much we contributed? >> i would have to get back to you. >> it was higher i know that. >> no, it was well over i think $80 million. >> during the 2006 elections, i was an observer. the ambassador is now head of manusco. it was a difficult, challenging process to identify who the voters are. we used a variety of resources. the catholic church who
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registered the parishioners. we usedd creative way to do it. we try to make it as transparent as possible and each election to be better than the last one. we have a country with so many challengeth t challenges. and the lack of capacity and institutions are charges that we work with the drc to overcome and to insure that these eligses a elections are better than the ones before. i guess we should go to your other question. here in the congress have addressed the issue on security and exchange regulatory process. and just to kind of briefly
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oversee on the conflict minerals. we are enhancing how to protect those areas in conflict. enhance regulation of the trade. strengthen regional efforts to monitor and protect civilians and promote responsible resources. as you know, it is perhaps one of the richest countries in the world. i want to give you a story we have been talking to other donors in other countries who are benefiting from the minerals and resources. the chinese. they told us that we found fascinating. there is more airable land in the congo than all of china. yet china is able to meet the basic needs of the population that is 20 times greater than the drc. why is that? what is that we need to do more
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to insure that we have a rihave country that meets the benefits of the region. and the water can fuel energy for half of the african contine continent. yes, on the tip report, the drc is a third tier tip. we have of course removed the drc reluctantly from a go of benefits. it came after two years. we wanted to see it has to be part of a bill. but it has to address the needs of the people. those are some of the things that i know you are very
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passionate about. the next thing that you address is the efforts of faith based groups such as crs and other groups. you are correct. we provide $6.8 billion of assistance to the african continent. of that 85% is administered through ngo groups. we have learned that it is -- tremendous accuracy, low overhead cost and they have creative and innovative approaches. we must address the programs that africa is facing today. let me address what we in the government is try to address. how do you aggress tddress the
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against women? we work on programs that tries to elevate the status of women to show girls that their moms are the heros in the family. we are going to have problems. we have kids going to community schools. we have moms getting loans and we now know that women will repay loans at a higher rate than men. for the men, looking at techniques and technologies and have that community strengthen and bonded and sustainable. what happens we found, is that it raises the status of women and expands to other communities.
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in our $360 million approach, we are looking at security sector reform. without it, you are not going to have a security force which is r reliable, dependable and accountable to the people. you don't want them to be a source of crime and violence against the people. what we are doing is to promote accountability through training and prosecution. the other issue is securing that the systems will be paid. making sure that the money gets into the accounts so that the commanders are not pilfering the
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money of the nco's or the other military trainees. the other thing is to train police forces to help protect the rights of civilians. the other issue is on nanusko. when congressman pane was there, we looked at the abuse of manuk. and at that time, the srsg was ambassador bill swing. we looked hard to see how we could do training programs. in that context. in the state department, we have over the last decade trained 120,000 troops. that is 36 battalions from our
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26 partnered countries. what they are doing is to address african problems through african solutions. of those, 77,000 remain in peace keeping operations. we know their quality is good. and that they maintain a high quality. that is what we need to do in other parts of africa where we see instability. >> thank you mr. chairman. on the issue regarding traffickitraffic ing persons, we are approaching it from a human rights issue. in that regard, we have spent $3 million in anti-trafficking projects in drc working with unicef to reintegrate former soldiers. help them put in systems to
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monitor families and communities where this is taking place. in addition, we are working with the organization of migration to build awareness and capacity of the government of the democratic group to stop this and address the issues raised in the tier iii status. on the issue of repairs, we are finding in our assessment of our current activities that so far, we have dealt with repairs as part of the violence generated in the war in conflict situations. but we think there is also fistula issues regarding the domestic violence and population increases that are happening in communities. we are approaching it both fros a treatment for gender based violence as well as domestic violence and sort of population
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issues regarding young girls who are having children quite young age as well as the number of children they are having which is also another reason for the fistula situation in the congo. on the issue regarding faith-based organizations and working with -- communities, we believe the fundamental issue of community reconciliation has to be done through local organizations. promoting community reconciliation can't be done at the national institutions. we are working with our colleagues in oti and places in the east to see what network social networks that exist currently and how do we tap into those social networks including churches and mosques and other
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institutions on the ground. in terms of elections that is another challenge we are facing. as my colleague said, we view this as a transformation. how do we set benchmarks for assessing progress in that process? in 2006 i was in the congo and we see that each election is an opportunity for us not only to fund the event, the idea of an election, but all of the question questions that we would have to deal with. what institutions do we have to build for the next eligection. we are managing our resources.
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lastly, in terms of all of these issues that we are dealing with ungoverned spaces. seven are viewed in the eastern areas which are considered ungoverned on many levels. there are 40 million other people in the rest of the congo that we are balancing the complex interventions for complex crises. those are the issues that we are managing at the moment. in terms of the budget. administrator shaw is coming up to the hill next week. i would leave that to him to talk about congo as part of the broader budget issues. >> i want to thank you for
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including in your written submission some of the outstanding accomplishments especially in the area of mitigating ma ternal mortality. we have enabled over 351,000 deliveries. as we know, the greatest why of mitigating that is by having a skilled attendant. so that is good news contained in your testimony. mr. payne? >> thank you, very much. as it has been mentioned, secretary clinton visited the eastern congo and she was moved and gave a very strong report about what was going on there. i was on that trip although i left before she visited the
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congo. but, in my assessment, the u.s. needs to refocus all parts of our government on a chiefing clear results in two critical issues. which were actually mentioned on her trip. the first priority should be to reduce civilian suffering and the second would be to ensure that next year's elections would be fair and free. i wonder if you could comment quickly on those two. i have a series of questions. >> you are absolutely correct mr. congressman. stability and -- is key and that is part of our security sector refor a proerefor reform approa.
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there are going to be areas that we need greater improvement on. as long as we continue to make the progress we have since 2006, we should be in a good shape as we head to the next elections as well. >> roger? >> in terms of the elections, after usaid's experience in sudan and the enormous lift to make the referendum happen, i think we are working toward what institutions can we lay the ground work for now. as we set the tone for the sub national elections that we hope will take place. i think it is a commitment to the transformation of congo is a critical element of our aid strategy at the moemment. you didn't have the dollar amount that we contributed to
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the 2006 elections and what is in the budget for the 2011 elections? >> right. i can come back to you with that. i'm sorry about that. on the 11, it is part of the budget disgressions that ad min straighter shaw would like to talk with as part of the overall dg budgets we are looking for within the agency. both for africa and for the agency. >> of course, we can almost guarantee failure if we do not supply the appropriate -- it was daunting at the last election, which i attended also. and the logistics of getting balance to remote places. they were able to bring in
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pallets and it was so important. we could almost guarantee a failure if we don't have the proper amount of which of course comes to the congress. you don't appropriate that is something that we need to perhaps have a discussion on this side of washington. i just have a -- could you give me a definition of difference between manuk and maniscule? it tends to get gray sometimes. so, anyone have -- try to take a shot at that? i don't want you to jump at it but. >> in french or -- >> um, yeah.
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>> um, the issue with the progress between those was on the mandate. in other words to articulate exactly what the precise mandate would be for the un operation. and one of the things that was additional or added to that was, in what circumstances will these forces address you know the fdlr, the lra process? and one of the additions to the manusco mandate was looking more at the lra problem. but i would have to go back to and refer to other experts who know the technical and legal distinction between the two. >> um-hum. initially they were criticized, i guess it was early on about their lack of aggressiveness in
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their chapter vii mandate. there had been a reaffirmmation of chapter vii. is there a more aggressive stance on the part of the forces? >> the, the problem with the definitions is the ability to respond. i know that roger he mece has requested assets in other words to address the ability to deploy his troops to areas of instability. you had disarmed groups coming in and taking over the airports. but those are some of the major charges facing it today. not only the budget but the capacity to respond quickly. >> we have also reinforced our
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message with the un agencies that we were committed to a peace keeping mission and we wouldn't be able to do our work without the environment created by the peace keeping mission in the east at the moment. and we have made that message clear to the government to those who have come around to establishing a better relationship and improving a relationship with the peace keeping mission. >> and about the fdlr, initially, they were very involved with the government, however, there seemed to be a position where the government had been working towards the in filtration of the fdlr.
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in other words, had the agreement between rwanda and the drc, is there an effort at one time it seemed fdlr were even a part of the forces have all of that changed and is the interharm way and those that still rome around the eastern congo still a problem? yes, the fdlr remains a continued issue. from our process to today. we continue to work with the rewanr rwanda groups s because it is threat to the violence against the civilians and is a major obstacle to peace and stability
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in the region. that continue z s to be a top priority. >> i had a chance to speak to m mr.mese earlier in regard to the cndp. has that lessened the tension there in the area or as his forces still roaming and doing destructive work? >> the encunda's detention or house arrest is one area. but you still have continued members of the fdlr who continue to rome. and you have other high profile individuals who are creating havoc. and one is a war criminal and part of the groups. he fought with the forces and he is very well armed. that remains a problem.
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>> i think one of the issues we are facing with the fdlr in terms of the community development issues is the command and control is not clear on different parts of the east on where they have impact and where they don't in terms of command and control. i think both the bilateral agreement gives one framework but i think we'll have to work as an international community both at the political level but also in communities who have reached out under the program and other efforts to see how we can minimize the damage that they do to the communities. >> okay my time has expired. i wonder, what is the prospect of a special on voen voy being appointed? we asked that one be considered.
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mr. swing was very effective. what is the status now? >> we continue to take that under advisement. after the departure of howard last year, we have continued to do the work that he has started as well as other senior officials and, again, depending on the budget, and other objectives, we continue to take that under advicement. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> m >> thank you again for coming and thank you for your testimony. the united states is constantly called upon to clean up messes throughout the world. now that is a testament to the generosity of the american people, as well our unique position as an exceptional world power. as well, compared to european
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assistance particularly france and belgium given the colonial legacy here. >> in terms of the united states, we have still the largest donor in terms of our support through the peace keeping agencies through the un service agencies like unicef. and we continue to lead on this. i think we are working with our partners to continuously find ways to partner with our
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countries. it is a balancing act. we are in constant discussions with our british partners, the eu, the world bank. both on the bilateral to see where we bring our relative expertise. we lead where they bring their political will. so it is a constant negotiations between us and our partners. >> the second question and perhaps you could answer this. it is against the law in the united states to provide military assistance to countries who use child soldiers. we have exceptions for that x, t with that said that doesn't absolve our responsibility from continuing to push at the highest levels to end this practice. what specifically is being dub
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done in this regard?done in this regar in this regard? >> you know we have, overall, on the child soldiers, it is not just through out the continent and around the world as we establish on the rankings, and address two work with these countries to address those problems and to ensure that a, they understand those problems and that they address them and that we work to find a solution. throughout africa from chad to other countries where there is reports of child soldiers, we have worked with those troops that we've helped let's say train to ensure that they observe our legal aspects that we have.
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we remain committed that those that we work with are meeting the legal notes established by you the congress on these distribution of the assistance. >> that is an appropriate response for areas that are under our direct influence. but in terms of a robust push at the highest levels what are we doing? >> we are trying to right now we are working with the troops which is a major challenge to work on. military justice, and also to ensure that they develop the justice systems to bring to justice those individuals that are in violation. those that have violated the law in rape and human rights abuse,
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but those who have trained child soldiers and that becomes an accountability issue within the agency. and for our part working to ensure the professionalization of the military as well as the police to follow up and to work with the communities and sectors so that these abuses do not occur. but it is going to be a long-term process. but we are making those efforts. >> the time that the gentlemenman has, has expired. >> thank you mr. chairman, congratulations again on your chairmanship. we notice a slight new jersey tilt to the leadership here. but we do appreciate you being
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here and bringing attention to this topic today. i want to take a personal welcome to the ambassador for his leadership and time we spent with him in eiththiopia and the great work that you do there. this topic is timely. in terms of assessing the efforts to address challengeths and extreme poverty. and in particular, the gender baseded violence against women and children on this day is important being international women's day. also, we've heard many talk about the high risk of relapse there when there was a concerted effort around the elections in 2006. many believe that we mistakenly
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scaled down our efforts there. and so certainly as we lead up to this next national election. i think it is important that we have a robust engagement there. i've seen some statistics with regard to there being over 14,000 new cases of sexual violence reported in the drc including thousands of child victims. and my question is, how is usaid and it's bilateral assistance working to address the needs of children in the eastern congo and how is the u.s. assisting unicef in their efforts to address these challenge tthss?
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>> we look at the issue of the high rate of violence against women and the high rate of death. what we tried to do with other groups is to look at how we kca address the needs of the communities to ensure not only security sector reforms but to look at how we can bring strength to the communities to protect themselves against the violence.
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>> i want to turn to my colleague who can turn to the details on the program. >> thank you. >> in terms of the sexual and gender based violence, we work on three levels. one is so that survivors have access to care and treatment. the second is we have 5,000 local service providers that we want to expand the number of providers that provide services to children. and in terms of unicef, we have worked with them in yeern ceast congo on protection.
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about 1,000 children have gone through all three and we support and fund unicef and they use those services to deal with community. the issues of women and children we deal with in terms of reb reconciliation of the community level. we have youth issues and we also deal with them through health care and local administration issues. we view it as a cross cutting issue where we have opportunities to support women and children. it should be something that go as cross all of our interventions we provide for specific issues -- specific treatments. >> thank you. >> thank you.
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>> you've made several references to the upcoming elections. >> given thedition that was made to revise the constitution in january to reduce the number of election rounds from two to one. is there hope that it could be reduced and what plans are the us and the international community discussing should violence occur? i know it is not automatic. but -- >> very important on the violence is obviously, the manusco plays a critical role as
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far as on the security and on the electoral process. in 2006 they were key in getting the ballots out and bringing them back. right now, the usaid has provided $5 million for training, voter registration and education which remains key. and to continue to reach out through educational process to bring in as many of the people who are eligible to vote to be a par tticipant in the election. on the issue on the ballot counting, we what have done is to make sure that the opposition groups do have member s at the aiv areas where the ballots are are being counted. we have met with the candidates as well as the local candidates and the presidential level, that is mogutu and the former
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speaker. as well as president himself. and to understand not only to have a dialogue among all of the groups and parties but to work out systems and measures to work together to ensure that the ballot counting and the vote there is a process in place which can be lived with by all the parties who are contesting the elections. >> all right. thank you. >> usaid looks at this in terms of what institutions are critical to ensure that it is transparent and limit the fraud and address the changes that we need to do. we are providing technical assistance to the independent election commission in the country. we are working with the parliament to make sure that
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working with administration at local levels to see how they can participate in the election. the other critical element for us is the population. how do we get the population involved in ensuring that they get out there. so they report on the instances that they do find weak ness in the process. we recently received discussions about elections teams from the international community and how to organize that so that we are able to provide some views on what is going on in this process. >> i have a question for both of
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you, to what extent do you think the legislation that senator durban and i got into the bill in terms of conflict mainral is mineral is going to have a positive effect in reducing the amount of money available to the rebels to carry on the chaos that has gone on for the last five, six or seven years? >> well, as you know, we work closely with the staff members on that legislation. that has remained a key aspect in our dealings for the last several years. but also tracking it. and also how it is being utilized. and denying those illegal traders from benefiting from those conflict minerals. what i think the legislation and what does is strengthen and
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support what we have been doing which is to the people in thesy va villains in areas and timber, have them benefit from the resources that are being mined. i think that helps us in that regards. and it strengthens those communities. and the issue is to hold traders and smelters and users accountable to ensure that those moneys and funds will benefit the people as well as those we are creating. >> i think the impact of the leb le legislation has been that the due diligence that the companies are taking very seriously. we are working with the governments to establish this. the second area of impact is our
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ability to have them look at it as part of a broader extract or framework that we are providing technical assistance. and largely at the community level, gep again is what role do they play. and we have prevented people from traveling in between these sites they have been able to keep this process going. so we are investing in rural infrastructure to access to these areas where we think that there is a high instance of trafficking and conflict minerals. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. i would like to thank our distinguished panel for your testimony. i would echo the words of my good friend. we hope you will consider a
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special representative. mr. afleck makes a strong appeal in this tem hfl and mr. prend actoben afleck and the wife of senator john mccain testified during the second part othe hearing. >> i would like to welcome panel number two beginning with mr. ben afleck who is the founder of the eastern condo group. he is a passional advocate he founded the stern congo initiative or eci. with the mission of helping the people of the congo support approaches that created a sustainable society in the long troubled region. eci is the first grant making
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initiative focused on working with and for the people of eastern congo. since 2007 mr. afleck has made multiple trips to africa. he has focused on understanding the causes of conflict on the continent and learning about african solutions to the problems affecting the drc. and then we will hear from miss francesca degolish. spearheading the effort to incorporate preventionnd response in programming in conflict and disaster effect. >> miss walsh works with displaced communities and has spent a considerable amount of
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time in the eastern congo helping partners design effective responses to psycho social and medical needs of m seal violence. we will also hear from a best-selling author. he is co-founder of the project to end crimes against humanity affiliated with the center for american progress. he has worked with the white house and under president clinton. unicef, the international crisis group and the u.s. insti stute of peace. he has authored ten books and appeared on tv programs and has been here frequently. and i would like to if she would like to come to the witness table cindy mccn who has been
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a leader on issues dealing with health care for africa including the american volunty medical team leading medical missions and is the wife of the distinguished senator from arizona. john mccain, but has worked with pragts smile and the land removal group, the halo trust. if you would proceed. >> thank you very much. this is very excited about this. it is a great honor. thank you all very much for including me today. mr. chairman mr. ranking member and members of the subsubcommit. eci is the only u.s. based grant making organization entirely focused on working with and for the people of eastern congo. and area that carries the distinction of being the deadliest an most volatile region of the country and one of
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the most deadly in the world. estimated 1.7 million people have been displaced and lead to over 1,000 rapes being committed every month. 5.4 million people have lost their lives in the conflict since 1998. many of these deaths were children under the age of five. not all were killed in combat. but perished due to other causes such as illness. the efforts that help protect the most vulnerable among the polation including child soldiers, survivors of sexual violence. eci works closely with groups. i thank you for your attention to congo and for holding this important hearing on behalf of
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eci i request to submit a written statement for the record. this hearing occurs on the anniversary and i think it is appropriate to call attention to the suffering of women and girls in eastern congo as well as the strength they hibit in the face of on going atrocities. i'm pleased to recognize cindy mccain who recently joined eci as a founding member. we jus returned from eastern congo where we saw first hand the tragedy a triumph of the people there. there are many reasons most of the people, to be hopeful about congo's future. i want to share with you a story about a woman who shows the potential of the people is there to transform themselves. she was tap tourcaptured at the
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of 14 and was raped every day by her captures until she fnd her freedom through the thick jungle in what makes up the second largest rain forest in the world. she discovered she was pregnant. counselors found her and took her in. they provided her with counseling and while caring for her new daughter used her skis to start a business and return to school. i met her, she is in her third year of studying law and advocates for the rights of women using her own story. i would witnessed markable efforts to promote growth and reduce conflict. the record is not promising. congo risks heading into a
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deeper spiral of violence that could lead to more fighting and suffering. in 2006, mip yullions of the pe in the congo voted in more than 50,000 polling places around the country. the people elect eed joseph cabilla as president. a great time of excitement. in 2007, the u.s., along with others in the west, drew back involvement. instead of continuing a high level offen gab engagement, it treated as if it was a well-functions state. this notion was quickly dispelled when rebels raged a new battle against the government that brought another round of death, displacement and destruction. our government has a long history of involvement in the
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congo. from our smeful role on the murder of -- to admirable recent efforts. u.s. government provided key funding for the 2006 elections and played a major role in bringing back peace and developmentto the area. secretary of state, hillary clinton, visited the region and u.s.aid has provided millions of dollars of assistance to the congo since the 1990s. this has paid dividends there. but with elections coming up we must develop a cohesive strategy and fully engage. today with elections months a way, the u.s. is not focused on
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congo. that paired with congo's recent history should remind everyone of the fra guigili of congo's progress and stability. the united states can and suld play an active role in ensuring a fair election. the last time congo collapsed armies came in from across africa as i said before, five million people died. five million people have died since 1998 because of the conflict there. we must learn from history and do our part to see that this never happens again. in this time of heightened concern over federal spending some suggest that we turn a blind eye to the crisis in congo. i believe it would be foolish to
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allow the congo to again, fall into a state of cris or further chaos. if it were to collapse again as members of this sub commit knte know we have to do better. we have to have stronger diplomacy. the path requires another disaster that couldrequire hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance. i suggest tat the u.s. find a way to do more. come november we must be able to look ourselves in the eye and say that we did what our principles demanded. we helped democracy emerge in a place ere tragedy was the alternative. in 2010 document was created to
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strengthen the democracy. this paper commissioned and reviewed by experts encourages the steps to be taken in the congo. i request that a summary of the paper be included in the record. >> absolutely. >> thank you. >> i have included it in the written testimony. one, the u.s. government must do more to protect civilians, women, girls, boys and men in the and men. in the onslaught of violence in the eastern congo. two the u.s. government must do more to support the 2011 elections which we've bhrd already. the u.s. should support robust election monitoring by congolese civil society and by credible international organizations. three, to ensure that the united states steps up to the serious challenges to stability in africa posed by the congo, the president with the secretary of state, should appoint a special
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representatives to the great lakes region of central africa. the appointment should occur as soon as possible in order to coordinate the u.s. response to the challenges in the congo. we also believe that the treatment of confli minerals, demobilization and security sector reform and the lower resistance army are of serious concern. and cohesive strategy. this is an ambitious agenda. but it can be accomplished. in december 2005, then-senator obama introduced a bl called the democratic repuic of congo. promotion act of 2006. this bill had a bipartisan list of senate co-sponsors including then-senator hillary clinton. on december 6th, 2006, it was passed by the house by voice vote. on december 22nd, 2006, president bush signed the bill into the law. the majority of the our recommendations are found in this very law. they simply need to be implemented. thank you, mr. chairman, for your very strong support of this.
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important legislation. we place special empsis on the upcoming elections and a great lakes special adviser in the state department. this special adviser would serve as a point of accountability and important and necessary coordinating function, maybe most relevant in these tough economic times, disappointment would inevitably ensure efficiencies are found across multiple investments and diplomatic effort. we strongly public we continue to place congo in the back burner of u.s. policy, it will come back to haunt us. federal budget may be zero-sum game but our morality, r sense of decency, our compassion for our fellow human beings is not. recognizing one tragedy need not diminish understanding in empathy foanother. our basic humanity, our sense of compassion is not a fix number. it expands with our vision. it can grow with our purpose.
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but our mora compasses is fixe our sunrise, our east as a nation. even when we have failed has always pointed us towards what's right. now, not what's easy, not what's cheap. but what we can live with. and w we can sleep with ourselves at night. e values we hold true are priceless to us. they are the soul of our nation and rooted in our constitution, our bill of rights, our declaration of independence. we believe in being free from the tyranny of violence. we believe in life and liberty and we believe that basic human rights are not just important, not just something to be worked toward, but a fundamental right to be demanded for all mankind. these ideas make us who we are. they make us great. but if our foreign policy does not reflect these ideals, it completely undermines them. i have seen firsthand that termination of the promise of the congolese people. i hope you will consider visiting eastern congo to learn
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and see what i have. any of you are welcome to come with me. the congolese people simply want to live their lives in peace, earn a decent living, and raise their families just like the rest of us. they want a voice in their country's governance. i will never give into the nay dlooi sayersho suggest is hopeless is not. deserve a better tomorrow and the eastern congo initiative will do our small part to ensure that it does. it is in the interest of all of us here to support the people of the congo, move forward toward democracy and respect for human rightsnd to move away from the multiple crises and horrors over the last 15 years. thank you very much. it is really an honor to be here. and i'm happy to expand on any of these points to answer your questions. thanks. >> sir affleck, thank you very much for your very eloquent and passionate statement and i do hope that th white house and the capital, the congress, is listening, to your strong appeal. congo cannot be on the back burner of u.s. foreign policy and i tnk as mr. pae and i have made very clear, i think
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that every member of our panel we strongly want that special envoy, that special representative yesterday. and so your appe today i think could be a pivoting point for the administration to y, now do it. time is running out. so thank you so very ch. i'd like to now introduce ms. vega walsh. and thank you for your testimony. >> mr. chairman, i would like to submit my written statement for the record and i will briefly summarize. >> without oection, so ordered. >> thank you chairman smith for calling this very important hearing today and for giving catholic relief services an opportunity to testify. i would also like to thank the ranking member, mr. payne. mr. smith, i know how passionate you are about advocating for the survivors of sexual and gender-bapsed violence in the congo. and mr. payne, i know that your interest in the region has led you to travel to the congo several times even dating back to when it was call the zeir. let me also thank mr. mcdermott
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for his role as one of the original auths of the congo conflict minerals provision that recently became law. this provision will help to curb sexual violence in the congo. this morning in buke abu close to 180,000 women marched in the streets advocating for their own rights. today being their day, international womens day. they march behind a banner that stated "we can stop violence," and they had slogans that included two key demands. the first being impunity for rapists must cease. and the second being that women must be included in all the political procses. as t sexual and gender-based violence adviser for catholic relief services i focus my efforts on the congo just because of the sheer mag touched the problem there and in this
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capacity i've had the privilege of working for and with many of the women that march this -- some of the women that marched this morning. in eastern congo today is a cry for women to no longer be used as a battleground. and here it is a call for us to even make greater efforts to help them. searez work next drc since 1961 partners with the local catholic church to address the scourge of sexual violence. has an extensive network throughout the most remote areas of the country. this network allows us to reach the most isolated rape it's of rape survivors. also in the absence of an effective and functioning government administration, the catholic church's provided most of the basic services, such as health care and education for decades. it is thus gained the trustf the population, in eastern congo i have repeatedly come across
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rape survivors who have walked many kilometers from their displacement camps to seek support at the nearest parish. the fear of sigmentization by their fellow camp dwellers coupled with the trust in the church drives them to seek assistance there. together, we have implemented numerous activities to respond to this crisis we've provided access to life-changing -- surgeries. training for counselors and trauma healing for thounds of survivors in four provinces, income-generating and entrepreneurial skills for at least 1,500 rape survivors. community trading to mobilize military, police and transitional justice leaders and most recently, an innovated community-based early warning and protection project in three province the fundg for these projects do come from a variety of sources. but great majority of them come from the united states government.
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this partnership between the united states government srs and the church in congo extends the reach and magnifies the impact of u.s. government assistance into remote areas with needy, vulnerable populations that could not be reached otherwise. it is critically important that the u. government maintain and expand this support for the essential responses i've just described as well as pserving and strengthening its partnership with the church and other faith-based organizations. if the drc is to have a future, the hundreds of thousands of womens who have been raped must continue to be able to access the services. and even within the context of scarce resources today, the u.s. can and should do more to combat the conditions that foster the use of rape as a weapon of war. i'd like tmake these additional recommendations. one, the u.s. must use its leverage as a donor and as a
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partner to press the congolese government to fulfill its security mandate, upholduman rights, and genuinely work to protect its civilians. the congolese government has requested more military support recently, such as the training of more battalions. the u.s. government has to link the support to measurable changes in key areas. two, the u.s. should condition its assistance on progress against impunity and survivor access to justice. as long as ranking military officers who condone and perpetrate rape roam free or as long as civilians accused of rape can continue to pay the equivalent of five u.s. dollars to get a jail -- to get a free out of jail card sexual violence will persist. three, the u.s. government urges the congolese it's u.s. government should urge the
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congolese government with its previous commitments to include women in the politil and priest processes. they should be respected and included and prepared for elections. indeed, violence against women in the drc is sympathyatic of women's second-class status and marginalization from decisionmaking. women have been consistently excluded from previous processes and continue to be sidelined from political power. one of the women who led in the march in back abu this morning is a director of the women's issues. when i telephoned her yesterday to tell her about this hearing, she was ecstatic because she knows the political leverage the united states government has with the congo. she drafted a declaration alongside her counterparts in the muslim and protestant communities and urged me to make these recommendations. ultimately, in order to eradicate sexual and gender-based violence in the drc, we need to stop the wider, more generalized conflict.
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the united states government needs to more urgently engage diplomatically. the united states government can lead the process that will end the fighting and increase women's purchase of haitian in the political sphere. the mag tuftd seemingly never-ending humanitarian crisis and the potential for the fragile situation to get even worse demands a proportionate response. at this critical juncture with elections coming, the united states government must rise to the task as it did in the sudan and as long as violence persists the u.s. must continue to support the life-saving support in the drc. thank you. >> thank you so very much and thank you for the absolutely encouraging news about the 180,000 women marching. that is just incredible. and hopefully in a small way this hearing and the followthat up we will do it is all ongoing
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but i think this is an important venue to say, now is the time for the administration to do much more and that goes for us as well. so thank you very that wonderful news. mr. pendergrass. >> thank you, chairman smith, and ranking member payne for your ongoing commitment to congo and human rights throughout africa. i'd like to a that my testimony be submit to the record and to "people" magazine to mr. affleck and also like to set aside my written tom say a few things this afternoon about this unique moment that congo is facing. while women were marching in congo in bacabu this morning the 180,000, two of my colleagues from enough were in goma this morning and talked with one of the leading womens' rights advocates in the country, justine massika who some -- everyone probably on this panel knows and some you know and secretary clinton met when she was in congo last -- in009. d for this hearing, justine wanted to say the following.
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quote, the link between conflict minerals and mass rape here in congo is crystal clear. so the first and foremost priority for ending the war here in congo is to set up a system to regulate the minerals trade and the upcoming elections, she said, is the critical window to push the government of congo on this issue since it will try harder to pleease the populatio before the vote. now i was in congo twice in the last six months and i would strongly concur with justine's asssment, at this is an unparalleled moment of opportunity to make real changes in congo. the election is the primary internalal factor, no question. but the u.s. congress' conflict minerals legislation spearheaded by mcdermott is the primal exteal factor and it's created a moment of uncertainties and anxieties and also of huge opportunities in the country. before we get to these opportunities, i wanted to make
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one commercial time-out on why we focus so much on the economics of congo's war. of course we believe the conflict there is about more than conflict minerals, but let's take a look at the broader agenda and how it is compromised by the mafia-like economy there. now, everyone wants to reform, for example, the military. however, the military officer corps is the primary beneficiary of mining in the country. president kabila stays in power by allowing these officers free reign to make as much money as they can and cratering the rule of law throughout their eastern third of the country. number two, everyone wants to reform the justice system, of course. however, the military and civilian beneficiaries in government of this conflict minerals trade do not want a strong, efficient government. the rule of law will subvert this illegal economy. and the money now going into their pockets will go to the treasury. and that's simply unacceptable to this mafia. the third thing i want to bring is everyone of course wants to stop the fdlr and the other
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militias, however they sustain themselves through mineral profitand everyone knows that and they often trade increasingly with the military itself. the congolese military. fourth, everyone wants clean elections. however, who in power would give up this gravy train? you lose and you're out. it's winner take all. they can't take the chance and they'll fix it. so everyone supports peace agreements, no question. however, even the peace deals in congo can make matters worse if we don't deal with the economic fuelor war. 1.5 million congolese people have been displaced since president mwamba and cab ail. back to the people of congo. ryan and i went over there over thanksgiving. we met an extraordinary congolese woman named marie. marie a rape survivor, twice over, and she's overcome her own trauma to found a womens
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organization who has helped other women to survive sexual crimes. what she recommends and she said the following. please stop this bloody business. you're fueling conflict. families are being torn apart. women are being raped. communities are being destroyed. so armed groups can profit from their mines. companies should stop supporting this and do ethiccal business, she said. well, the good news is that because of the congressional legislation, because of your legislation, every one of you ampioned this, companies have to start trying now to do this ethiccal business, and some company are already moving ahead even beyond what the legislation is requiring them to do. but they need help from the united states government. and the key, i believe, as it has been on so many critical foreign policy issues in africa, the key is the united states congress. two critical processes are coming to fruition now that this subcommittee and the wider congress can influence. first, the security and exchange commission is going to issue
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very soon implementing regulations for your conflict minerals legislation. we need to ensure that these regulations have serious teeth and do not delay the implementation of the bill. we have a letter that we're releasing todayfrom congolese civil society organizations making this very point that we cannot countenance a delayn the implementation of t bill. strongly -- strong regulations will send a major signal to the acto in the supply chain that foament violence, that subvert the rule of law, that undermine good governance that they have to clean up their act. the second major opportunity now is the legislation that was discussed requires the executive branch to develop a strategy for dealing withonflict of minerals and ending the violence. that's the first. the branch hasn't been required by congress to have a strategy to actually end this thing. we've always wanted to deal with the symptoms. this it's bill says, how are you going to e it? well, that strategy was due over
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a month ago but it's still being debated inside of the administration. that's a good thing. that means that you can have influence with over what the obama administration comes out with. a huge oortunity for the united states to make a critical difference in the congo. we think secretary clinton should lead in putting together a stake holders' meeting that involves the regional governments, particularly congo, at the center, the companies that matter, the united states and the european union, all together to launch a process that would result in an international certification system to end the conflict minerals trade in central africa. and we need a senior envoy to help spearhead this and all the other efforts that my fellow panelists and you have all spoken about and written to the administration about so passionately in the country and in throughout the region. u.s. leadership has helped do this with diamonds. we've done it with forestry. we've done it with fisheries. we've done it with a number of
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other products where, when the united states helped lead in bringing the companies and governments in question together, standards were changed and this positively has impacted the lives of millions and millionings of peoe. well, now it's congo's turn. so if we act on the deadly minerals trade, it's not a magic wand but it is a catalyst and 's a domino that will help topple the etivis of greed and militarization that kills and rapes people in congo at a higher rate than anywhere else in the world. thank you very much for your leadership. >> mr. prendergast. thank you for your counsel. thank you so much. as previously discussioned and agre by my friend mr. payne and i, the ranking member, i would ask you now to consent to welcome ms. cindy mccain to speak and participate as a witness on this panel and even though not prior noticed it. ms. mccain. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i don't intend to take long at all. but i would like to -- to thank
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you and the committee members for taking your time and hearing what we have to say with regards to such a critical issue that is facing our world. i come to congo having my first trip been there in 1994 during the rwandan genocide. and so my history with congo is dicey at best. but what i have learned through these years is what is most important and that it is organizations just like this, particularly organizations like eci, that go in and take us -- not only a strong look at what's going on but become active in a community-based level. these ngos, organizations like this, are st important for what we're doing, but we can't do it alone. we're here today to ask all of you -- and i know that all of you in this room right now have been to congo, have taken an active interest in congo. please come. but most importantly, we're
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depending on your voice to -- to spread the word. we're going to lose a generation of women and children and congo unless we do something now. i'm only a humanitarian relief worker. that's the only thing i've ever done. it's the only thing i know with regards to this regi, but i also know what's right and we can't leave behind these women and children. so we rely on you and we talk to you today with great hope that you will lead this charge and not forget about these wonderful human beings in a rich culture that has so much to offer to this world. i leave it to the experts to tell you today what is most important, but i would hope that you would ask those people who are on the ground to not only to help you but for you to let them know that you are behind them and most importantly to let the women and children know that they are not forgotten. i particularly want to thank ben affleck for allowing me to be a part of this today andor allowing me to be a part of the
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eci. we are strange political bedfellows. we're the odd couple perhaps in politics. but that's the beauty of this. because this transcends political parties. so thank you so much for what you are doing. most importantly, thank you for listening to what they have to say, and thank you on behalf of many, many ngo aid workers that are on the ground that need your help. >> mccain, goes to you and to the three other diminished witnesses for leading and leading so well and by pouring yourself into these humanitarian effort. mr. affleck, you know that you've been to and eci actually aids heal africa. could you provide some additional insights into the work of heal africa and other like minded ngos and hospitals that you've supported. >> sure, sure. unfortunately, not many hospitals in that part of the country. and we're initially tracked with them. because of course they're congolese-run and based and that's the kind of organizations that we want to be supporting. sometimes we support grassroots
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organizationthat don't have that level of infrastructure and you know high level education but these people are -- they're congole congolese-run hospital. started out very small. primarily -- of course fish toola repair. because the need for fish toolas are so urgent there and they have grown they've grown because of their skill, their talent what they're providing and who is doing the work. and it's one of the few that actually has attracted a decent amount of attention from people and they provide just top-level -- i mean, obviously this emergency care. i have visited them when some met you know soldiers, you know who are coming from gunshot wounds. one guy showed me that he'd -- he had his wallet in his pocket and he'd been in the war and took the wallet outnd the bullet had gone into his pocket and hit the wallet and saved his life. and you know he'd had some other ones that he was being treated for but it was definitely -- they were on the front lines of the war. and they're on the front lines of building the peace. and you know i don't know what people would do without this kind of hospital there. and they are receiving more.
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we're working with them. and others are as well. and you know, they really pretty exceptional. the other of course really well-known hospital. is the hospil. and he's doing exceptional work. he was the guy who is himself personally early on doing ten fishtalas surgeries a day at the height of this epidemic and it still goes on but he doesn't have to do all of the surgeries and then they started training other doctors and became sustainable and those two organizations are spectacular. they're many others that we're working with. part of what we try to do at eci is to recalibrate people's perception about africa and about who is doing what. throw money down there, money down in the rat hole, that's not case at all. really in our experience people who are doing it, sombing the problems, maybe it was congressman payne who was talking about this earlier, this congolese solving the congolese problems and that's so inspiring to me and both of those
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helicopters are emblematic of it bif but i have many stories but i will spare you. >> your testimony and mr. pe prendergast. who had actlly had has capability diminished, his resources cut, and influence at a time when of course he has been ill recently but even when he had the position, it seems to me that the message we need to send to the white house, because they need to do this, like what i said before yesterday, is to name that special envoy and properly resource that individual. if you both and perhaps any of you who would like to speak to that issue, it seems to me that we don't have a point person who can in a rapid way with the -- president and the secretary of state a phone call away, this wind over opportunity as one of you said in your testimony could quickly eaporate and if we --
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you know i was -- and mr. payne and i were talking about this in between testimonies, you know $5 million expended so far, last time it was about $80 million, and when the administration testifies that there's a $350 million gap that may doom this election unless quick corrective action is taken and a special envoy would have that ability to say we're going to make this happen so if you could speak to that. >> a quick answer and then john could get into the nuance policy detail stuff. but you know, there's a lot going on. we've heard other people talking about what the united states government is doing, what the other folks are doing. a big part of this is about synthesizing all of this stuff. taking all these strands as many of you who know work in the private sector you think have a lot of people doing their stuff and doing their jobs well but not working together. frankly you have a lot of waste. so we've got resources dedicated that are now being frittered away because they're not working
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collectively, they're not rking cohesively. somebody's supposed to be doing elections. somebody's supposed to be doing gender-based violence. regional governments like ruanda and others and without taking the lead and doing that kind of shuttle diplomacy where they move across those folks, you know, it is just really isn't going to be successful. in fact, we're underutilizing, what we're already deploying, in effect. and i have talked a little bit and willet john take it. >> just a footnote of what ben isaying there, when i worked in the white house in the state department i just found it to be endlessly frustrating because so many issues and countries were stove piped and kept in their categories and what a special envoy -- and you've got in central africa, you've got crossborder issues, you've got multiplessues that bring equities in from all kinds of different departments throughout the u.s. government. so you need someone to beable
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to break through this stovepiping and it can't be a deputy assistant secretary of state who just gets dual hatted to be doing something else besides their regular job which is 20 hours a day anyways with the beeper going off every 30 minutes in the other four hours. you just got to have someone who's full-time job is focused and it'someone with influence, someone that can pick up the phone and say, secretary clinton, it's actually time for you to say or d something now. and someone who can actually move this system, move the needle away from the inertia that just prevades government. this is just where it is. people are well meaning but system is -- it's systemically tilted towards the status quo. to be able to move that needle away from the status quo towards action. that's what you need a special envoy for and we should collectively civil society and the legislative branch press the executive branch to do this as soon as possible. we know president obama moved on the special envoy in -- in sudan
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because of george clooney, maybe he'll move it in congo because ben. >> well, i think eye don't think that it will do with me but from what we've heard and spent a lot of tim asking people around this town. ambassador yamamoto and secretary carson, we'd go a long way so i want to urge -- still here and carson, wherever you are, help us out. this can be a collective effort and i know that we can get there. >> thank you. and i couldn't agree more. ms. vigo walsh, in your testimony you referenced the srs problem. by sensitizing communities and local leaders that it's done through training, military and police officials who then become community sensitization leaders. you can tell us how successful that program has been? and secondly, ms. mccain you may want to speak to this as well. the issue of microcredit
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financing is huge in africa. and you know dollar for dollar i can't think of a better way to helping to empower women especially because most of those grants or loans i should say, go to women. and with a small amount of ney, someone can not only get gainfully employed but they end up hiring four, five, six people in many cases. for those women who've been so sexually abused and traumatized do you find that microcredit financing and job skills helps them to mend not only help provide to themselves and perhaps their families but also as part of the healing process? >> thank you, chairman. with regards to our project where we -- with the catholic church, excuse me, we train transitional justice leaders. the program is critical and it's
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very effective because we have to step back for a moment and look at the context. we're talking about a country where there is no rule of law. the justice system is in shambles. so there is nothing but traditional leadership in justice. so the fact of the matter is, we're working in communities where the view of justice still is embedded in cultural ideas that are attached to the stigma. how to overcome the stigma or how to reduce stigma. and what i mean by that is, a girl that is perhaps as young as 14 years old in order to avoid that stigma, she's forced to marry her rapist. and that is the traditional justice system. so we've been working with hundreds and hundreds of justice leaders traditional justice leaders in order to work with them on making their policies
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shall we say more gender sensitive and more sensitive to the needs and protection of the women and girls. that's on the first point and with regards to the microcredit financing, absolutely, absolutely critical. and i'm ad that you noted that it is part of the healing process, in fact. through our savings and lending schemes we've had rape survivors that had been ostracised from their communities and their forelost. they're bred winners once their husbands abandoned them and in one particular case that i'm thinking of right now she was actually able to save the equivalent of $600 to build her own house. this is a woman who would had been living in the street quite literally after being ostracised by her community. those time programs work so much on the self-esteem and the self-esteem after rape is so
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critical to be able to move on and to be able to remake one's life event in face of being ostracizeed by the community so these programs are critical and i -- and i strongly suggest that they continue to be supported and i do thank the u.s. government for all of the support that we have received for these programs thus far. thank you. >> ms. mccain, did you want to comment? >> the only thing that i would add to that, you're exactly right. microfinancing in my opinion is key to this an so are free and fair elections. and unless we can do both we're never going to have a society of women that will have any kind of rightsa at all. so anything that i would add to that. >> thank you. mr. ayne? >> well all right, me certainly thank all you for your testimony, a i think that the interest of all of you in this
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issue really assists us in congress to try to highlight the problems without people like you, ms. mccain and mr. affleck and of course mr. prendergast is the agitator behind of this and the work that the catholic seices does. we'd probably have a difficult time filling the room probably only have a third of it covered. so i think that people don't realize the importance of people in your categories that you can bring attention to issues and i think it's important once we get the attention, we know what to do you know? congressman smith, myself, and other members of congress. but you do help us highlight the problems. and i really, once again, thank you all for your interest in
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these issues. the -- it seems, and it's very clear that we definitely need have a special envoy. i recall maybe john you remember, when we went with president clinton to africa. and during our time there, we just simply had a meeting of the grt lakes region presidents because so much is interrelated. uganda was arguing a little bit. you had rwanda looking over wh was happening in zimbabwe. it's so interremelated that a special envoy should not only deal with the problems of the congo, but to be able to coordnate, as a matter uganda was a recipient of a terrorist attack because uganda was
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assisting in somalia with their troops to protect the government of shaikh -- and without the ugandan troops there the situation would be much worse. well, that's all connected. that at the world cup game, uganda suffered theoss of 20-some of their citizens by al shabaab planting a bomb as people were simply watching the world cup because they were ugandan troops helping in somali. so it's all so connected that it seems it would certainly make a lot of sense that we do have an envoy especially to deal with the drc, but also to have the -- the surrounding countries they're involved in. the fact that so many -- and the tragedy of the congo, as i
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mentioned earlier with king leopold and houtcountry was just devastated and then once they decided to move orward, the -- the conspiracy of the west have come together and have patrice murdered. and, mr. affleck, we can't forget the past. we can't dwell on it. but if we know the past we know the positions that we're in. congo with the leadership of la mom baand those who are emerging at that time could have a total difference on the way the congo is today. but by us propping up mbuta who raped the country for decades and decades, we find ourselves struggling again to try to get democracy ving and trying to get this whole question of rape, which should be despised by society, but it's something that people sort of shrug their shoulders and say, well, that
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happens. so i really, like i said, i really commend you for your efforts. i know mrs. walsh, vigaud-walsh, you all work with child soldiers and i know that perhaps some of the abusers who are involved in rape now were probably child soldiers befo. so i wonder what your organization is doing as it relates to child soldiers and the drc. >> to illustrate what we are doing with child ldiers, i could speak of a program we had in north chivu and partnership with the cara tacgoma and ca
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caratas rome as well. we were supporting centers through which demobilized children -- or children were -- were transported to after being demobilized providing a trauma healing therapy. working with them to prepare them for reintegration back into society. the problem is that clearly these kinds of services aren't enough. the number of children that were needing ddr services in a few years ago was much, much greater than the funding it's level of funding that we had. thank you. >> thank you. >> mr. affleck, maybe you and mr. prendergast, may be able to deal with the question, what do you see us needing on the ground in order to make these elections work? >> welt, first of all, i want to go back to another question they don't ink that i answered which is the difference
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between -- the two lerts stand for stabilization and organization. the idea being that got an expanded mandate for -- well, stabilizatio among other things. and you know, who replaced now in doos, seems to be doing a fine job, he's an american. and people were opmistic and they've been some appreciative changes and now that entity plays a real role obviously in elections. and as you know, you were there, they played an instrumental part in elections the last time. what i hear from people and this environment is well the second election is always harder. still fewer people want to pay attention to. it's the one that could either cement democracy orll fall backward and becomunwound. we need to have monitors, we need to have like i say internationally credited monitors. we're hoping the carter center will up the ante a little bit in what they're willing do. i think that our iri will come in. and we need a fully committed effort and frankly we need on --
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to maintain at peace of stability. you asked about the fdlr. to sort of more fully address that. where we are right now is that, yes, because of when he got taken away by the rwandaies. they sort of cut a deal. so is kind of de facto leader inside of the fdarc which creates the kind of tension and it's one that has to be mjd by minossko because you arrest him. you may create a lot of problems. may go back to the war that you had before. it's -- it's tricky, when we were there recently, you know, right after we flew out, the hotel -- the airport was the scene of a huge you know shooting and chase and bosko had brought -- and gold. they had brought in a bunch of gold that they were smuggling and a big police chase up there. so a guy acting with a lot of impunity and creating a lot of instability. and you know the kimana rdf,
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effortsing to after the fdlr on the flip side which i think represented to get to your question, the further break between the fdlr and the fdrc and kabila and those guys who were kind of on his side durngt war. >> right. >> but it got stopped a bit because fdlr was smarter and knew enough civilian casualties would leave. and come back and kill a lot of civilians. of course left. these entractable thorny issues need to sombed as well as the other practical electoral stuff. vis-a-vis elections. a lot of political support. they need support. people there saying, this is how we should do it. fully dedicated and it also needs increased diplomatic involvement engagement to help -- to continue to -- and a place where the u.s. has done a lot of really good work, you know? the state department who was
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over there several years ago and working closely. you know that we need to continue to push that towards peace. because any of these guys the boskos and so on that -- if those situations flare-up it could easily trigger further stability in the elections. that wasn't more than you wanted to hear but -- >> no, you're pretty up on this stuff. it's really -- you're very impressive. j.p. >> the only thing i would add there and it was indeed a great answer. you are -- >> thank you. him i paid to say that. >> but i would add it -- just actually highlighthe diplomatic effort that you just spoke of as part and parcel. and pull the meat on those bones and say, what you need of course as we do in other countries that matter to the united states is you create these unified coordination mechanisms, call them donor coordination, ca them diplomatic coordinators, they then craft multilateral
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carrots and sticks related to electoral benchmarks, and you deploy them early enough that they can actually influence the process as it unfolds because of course anyone who wants to steal an election is watching to see what the world will do. and if the world does nothing but put out a little press release saying, bad you know, slap on the wrist of course they're gointo go ahead because of the reasons that we've talked about for so long. the money it's gravy train will be lost if you lose the election. so we need that -- that multilateral, unified voice of the governments that have influence to develop the carrot stick it's the carrots and sticks, create the watch dog actions that will blow whistles when there are problems and do it early enough, create this thing early enough so you're not just waiting until the day to vote, say, wait a minute, there is something wrong here but we can actually watch and see how it unfolds. we'll know months in advance
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whether this is going to be a credible election and if the answer is no thenby can deploy. wait a minute, we will not support this. you will have to change this for yone to take this seriously and then it's up to the congolese government to develop their own calculation about whether or not they want to reform it. so i think that's what we really -- that's one of the elements of many as ben said that we need to be engaged in to try to make a difference here. >> all right. thank you. my time's just about expired. i won't ask you, ms. mccain about elections. i will just want to say that we -- elections are so important. i just want to remind the chairman that we have the problem in coat devoy who decides i will not leave. this is unbelievable with everyone saying, hey you, ha was, eched, eu, u.s., saying you lost. you should step out and so i think that we really have to keep the pressure on -- to step down and if we could move that legislation forward to have the
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congress on record with the rest of the world saying get out because if he stays in, it's going to be a bad example for all of these other elections. they're about a dozen elections coming up in africa this year. and if this is the principle where you lose and you stay and you say, well, i'm not leaving then we're going to be in a world of trouble in these elections coming up including the congo so once again, thank you, all, for your testimony. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. queson for you, mr. afeck and mrs. mccain. i'm curious. how did you choose the eastern congo as a focus of your passion and interest? the reason that i say that is those of us who sit on this committee and others where global human rights is a concern and deep interest and essential, the insults to humanity, the
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affrontry that comes across our desk daily in so many places throughout the world can almost just be exhausting. so i'm curious, how did you choose this particular area? >> yeah. i came to it -- i won't go into my own personal journey because that may be inappropriate for this -- but i think really for me it was -- it was -- in fact i was reading. looking at some other stuff trying to cast around, looking at advocacy and i came across this, well of course it pales into comparison with the millions o daepgts in eastern congo and i was on the one hand really shocked and on the other hand ashamed. how could i not know this? i read the newspaper and yet i had no idea and so i thought well maybe this is a place where i can at least you know show up. i don't know what. and i started studying and i started learning. i took a couple of years. i didn't want to be kind of a celebrity debutante person who doesn't know what they're talking about, irritates everyone, because i didn't think that helps everyone.
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>> very politic, but very well received. >> i did a lot of studying. and met about a lot of really learned experts, john among them. and when i foremost among them. and when i ultimately got to a place where i wanted to -- i want to build an organization cause that kind of identified the best people, i thought doing the best work with people who had some skin in the game, who are listen in the community every day, who knew the people, who knight militia, knew the children very well. child soldiers out the militia and go to them and address them personally. bargain. at least you don't need him. give me her. and while that was happening, already found a place for the child to live in the village rather than institutional home and the like. and i thought, gosh, this is what happens when something bad happens in yr community and you're dealing with it because you know the people and i got struck and i wanted to help empower those folks because of course they had no money. and so we started raised money and i also thought you know
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nothing changes without advocacy, without powerful people make up their minds, people lik you. and the idea to ultimately sit here and address. it's a real thrill for me. and then i wanted to surround myself with kind of smart, thoughtful philanthropist and you know people wh got it and everybody who knows something about this knows how long ms. mccain has been involved in this. in goma in '94 that's a big deal and since then doing a lot of work and so i gave her a call and i hope she wouldn't think it was a prank call. >> well, clearly your investment is -- your time and passion is very genuine and i think it's going to give continuity to this effort and i'm grateful. ms. mccain, did you have anything to add anything. >> everything is always a personal journey and my story is no different. i won't go into this but what i will say is that is, from my own personal well-being, africa
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has -- has haunted me in a good way. it has kept me coming back. it -- because i see such hope there, i see such possibilities and i know that with the help of people like mr. affleck and others around the world that we can make a difference and so it's nothing more than personal journey for me as well. but it's one that has kept me coming back and i'm -- and i love it there and i wouldn't rather not be any otr place. >> thank you as well for your time and passion on it. i did want to raise a couple of quick issues in the limited time that i have last. mr. prendergast. the culture of rape and the conflict regarding minerals. it's unclear to me what that direct corretion is. if you could spend 20 seconds unpacking that please. >> actually -- >> i have another question, though. [ laughter ] >> well, that -- >> hurry. >> we didn't need a laugh line
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right before talking about this because it isso questionably serious. what basically our assessment is that these militia group -- armed groups othe ground including the government army, we always talk about rebels, rebels, there's militias both from rwanda and congo and the government army. they've used the tactic of rape as a weapon to -- >> see i don't think that this point is very clear. and i appreciate you saying there's a correlation there but go ahead. >> to use rape as a tactical war, in order to intimidate local communities to go along with the kind of mafia economy that we're talking about all day today. so i mean inierra leone they use amputations to terrorize the populations. people use what works and if there is no consequence, if it's impunity reins and then why not this? and other factors involved. i think that you're wanting to say sothing in there, can i yield some of my time? >> yes, please.
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>> just to clarify that also a bit more. it's a displacement mechanism. it moves people out of the areas where these resources are so they can move in and take control of the mines and if u look at where -- >> so this is not just act of deprivity that happens in ungoverns space. it's deliberate, intentional for a larger geopolitical space. >> it's a strategy, absolutely. >> it's both. it's all those things. >> okay. >> you know what i mean? these tactics create an environment which where it seems like anything goes, you know what i mean? but i do absolutely concur from what i've seen from these two folks. it's about armed gups saying we're going afterhis area and attack them and then it becomes kind of a horribleeality where it's acceptable. >> i call it a culture of rape but i don't know if it's the right description. >> i don't think that it is actually. because the vast majority of congolese are -- absolutely devastated by what's happened to their country. >> and that's why it becomes a powerful weapon. >> yes. >> thank you.
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>> ms. bess. >> sir, thank you for your last comment abt that. but let me just start by thanking all of you for the work that you do and in particular, mr. affleck, for using your celebrity in this manner. because it's extremely powerful. and it is as the chairman and ranking member said, one of the reasons this issue has received so much attention and the same to you, ms. mccain. i wanted to reference some comments that mr. prendergast. i think that you described it very well. but i wanted to know in your opinion what about the political leadership, is it there? there's an election that's getting ready to happen in november. is there legitimate -- we talked about the elections being legitimate, you know, maybe they will be, maybe they won't, but my question is, is there legitimate political leadership to be elected?
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>> well, just in 30 seconds you know, we have this country which for 125, 150 years has been just pillaged by the international community r -- going back to the turn of the century -- or the last centry, ivory and rubber to help our jewelry industry and then auto industry and then the uranium from the congo was critical in our atomic bombs bombs. and what happens is you create a system where -- a political system that basically is designed to maximize private gain. and crater the public sector. because public sector, the rule of law, would undermine this. so you have internal collaborators with this international system but it's a system that benefits us. we've got cheap phones, we've got cheap computers.
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we had nuclr weapons that worked. we had pan yocis and the turn of the century with the ivory that was built so in other words this is going on for so long. it's hard to say, suddenly you know, we will turn this around with one election. it's system that in which the it's termites have absolutely devastated the political foundation of the country, and that has -- until you address that economic foundation i don't think -- it's just a changing chairs on the "titanic" on the deck of the "titanic" with these electoral processes. you have to do both the political and the economic at the same time to make a difference. >> i wanted to ask another question, too. this is about africa. the question is the united states african command or africum s been engaging in pilot changing of one battalion focusing on human rights and unit cohesion conditions and
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afr africum is controversial. so my question is should the u.s. expand on this project to address other serity needs? and i guess in reference to what you were saying before, younow i remember 20, 30 years ago when there were liberation movements in the various countries and we could talk about how all of those turned out but there were independence and liberation movements and so i don't think that you have described one in the congo. >> you want to say something on this, jump in if you want. no, no i'm saying if you want to say anything after i am done. >> oh, okay. >> the military forum issue i think is -- i think eci if you look at their recommendations, the project and others that have worked on this stuff, military reform, security sector reform sat the top of anyone's list. of what we need to invest in. and now you go to congo and spend time with the congolese leadership and what militaries do they respect? it's not a surprise. the united states military. so when the u.s. comes in and says we're going to train a
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battalion in kissing ghani this makes a difference to them. people are getting -- bumping each other out of line to sign up to be part of this so the united states has influence. it has leverage on this one and here's one where if we work more aggressively to get this -- and this is why you need a specia envoy because we don't have enough diplomatic firepower with the existing system to be able to to do this kind of full-time work is to get the donors together who do military training like china, like south africa, like angola the countries who have influence with the congolese government, we work together with them about a systemic reform of the military and then africam becomes a major player in that and specifically highlight one other element from the security sector and that's military justice. again we have a comparentive advantage there. they respect us on this front. you've got to get this impunity issue, getting it at the impunityssue within the military even as much or maybe more important within it's than within the broader society. you start to see convictions for -- for rapes and for other
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kinds of crimes in congo of military officers or soldiers who are involved in this kind of stuff. then we're going to -- that sends a signal so there's the building blocks to a state and i think africum for all of the controversy and other fronts can play a major important role in the congo in helping to build that particular block of the larger foundation. >> thank you. >> yeah i think the relevance of africum there has to deal with -- look, monossko does off. training now. they work together, they train guys. they're having difficulties. we're better at it than they are. i met some of our guys down there doing some of this work. obviously they're great guys. u.s. military. they really know what they're doing, men and women. they're doing -- just training very few units. that's good. it needs to happen. and i hate to have all of these answers woman caviates and then i don't want it to feel like, well you have to do everything, but really there has to be accompanied by some reformed units that they have to go back.
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huge, huge problems is soldiers don't get paid. the legacy. destroyed the infrastructure. eaten up all of the money. there's a little bit of that left. not a little bit, a lot, unfortunately. i have visited the battlion camps like tent cities. a little better than the revfeefgy camps in fact they often go and loot and pilliage in those camps. are responsible for 40%. some say of the rapes in the country. where you have a military that's deployed among the population that's feeding off of the population. it's not imaginable to us. this is a horrible i version of that. i think they ju took the divisions out of there. that's not practical politically, but what is practical is to go around and just train troops on one side. would love for us to take over a little biltmore or do training of the guys, but on the other side, get people pa. make $40 a month being a soldier, but at least it's enough to buy what you need where you're not compelled to.
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i mean, they walk. it's 800 miles. they walk that far. you know, it's like ancient rome. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like you to respond to the need for pepfar being money being iluded for the congo in the treatment particularly in terms of maternal infant transmission of aids and the fact that pepfar does not affect the congo. that's onehing i'd like. and the second thing is, i think you get a little more humble as you go along in this business. and you realize that passing a bill isn'ting that it's cut out to be. you can have the champagne, have a good time and clap your hands and be happy. it really is writing the rules and regulation where it really happens.
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and that's going on ght now. and i would like you, john, to talk about what the committee can do. because you put this up as an action item. what the committee should be looking for in the writing those rules and regulations as to whether they are good rules and regulations or rather they're slippery. i've been doing this long enough to know that you can't hardly write a law that somebody can't figure out a way to get around. so what i'm really looking for is the best set of rules and regulations that we can have to make this law work an what things we as a committee should be looking at, or we as a congress should be looking at. >> congressman mcdermott, i'm sorry, i can't answer that question because i don't work in aids relief and i'm not familiar with that kind of programming.
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>> i don't know the specific answer on pepfar, but i think between us, between our staffs, we can get ack. >> i know it's a problem in africa in goma because i know where the getting their drugs. >> right, they are short on drugs. in fact, particularly -- what was the program? anyway, there are shortages. pepfar is a great program and viously people get access to those drugs and it's important. we could furnish the committee with details of that. >> i was asking a softball so you could let the committee know, but go ahead. more tough question is the regulations. >> i think that the top two i would say for the s.e.c. regulations, they're getting bombarded right now because the industry, you know, lost that battle on the hill. and they are mad, and they're coming back with the los of lobbyists to try to press the s.e.c. to water this thing down.
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like you said, so keep the cork? the champagne yet, you're absolutely right. number one, i think that there be stiff fines for companies that do not fly with the intent of the law. do not open up the books to demonstrate that their supply chains are indeed free of conflict. and if they're not, they're acknowledging we got it from there and yes we know where it came from and consumers you can make your choices. but if you try to hide it, circumstance uvent it, then ser fines. secondly, i think is the question of when this all should come into effect. and i think one of the big things that you're seeing lobbyists push for now is a significant delay in implementation. we haven't yet seen the state department make i own recommendations in this regard, but i talked to a senior member of the administration last night who said that they were going to
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not advocate for a delay. i hope that his opinion is actually the -- ends up being the u.s. government's opinion. but right now e s.e. krmplgc. i hearing from industry sources that they can't comply with all this. although other companies,ou know, particularly within the electronics industry, they've been working on this now for a coup years, partly as a response to the legislation but partly also because some of them want to do t right thing, and they've shown verylearly that they can do what is required to do with respect to the law. apple, you know, a year and a half ago apple was not much of a contributor to the electronics industry association and its efforts to try to clean uppity supply chain. basically, their argument, if you talked to them about it was look, we have no idea where this stuff is coming from. how n we possibly be expected to know? it's a war down there and where it comes from is not really something we can control.
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well, a week ago, now we've had the legislation, we've had mr. jobs actually get personally engaged, and his wife, and now a week ago apple put out whatever report that it does, and it was the most robust reporting of any company on where their materials are coming from. right down to the smelters, to the processors. i mean, this is something, again, the lobbyists said a year ago even that were working for apple said it was impossible. you know, basilly, i think this is what the legislation is going to be ableto do. it's going to urge people to actually do the right thing when they've said for quite a long time they can't. they actually can, so the question is how fast are they going to have to do it? and instead of, you know, a delay of a delay or two years or whatever some of these guys are asking for, we'd like to see the timely implementation of the regulations and to come into force very quickly after the s.e.c. makes its rulings. >> keep on making the publicity
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to keep it up above the radar. thank you. >> thank you. just to add one note, catholic relief services did write the s.e.c. to ask for the absolutely most strongest rules possible. and we hope for the timely implementation as well. thank you. >> thank you. >> thk you, mr. mcdertt. any final thoughts? >> i just want to say that we do have to really make sure that they don't change, what was interesting years ago i was able to encourage congressman tancredo who was working with me on sudan to get a bill passed in the house that capital market sanctions were put in. in other words, if you were doing business with them, you had to come out of wall street. and we pasd it in the house. that's where it ended.
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the lobbyists ran over to the senate, the head of every top -- mr. tancredo who was great on sudan, we didn't have champagne when it passed, but we were very happy. and it simply died by virtue of the lobbyists saying, you can't do that. so hopefully we will be able to push this through. i just have comments from the international crisis group that would like to add their statement for the record. mr. chairman. >> without objection. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> i'll just conclude by thanking you. i would like to ask, mr. pendergrast, how well or poorly do you think it's being implemented, what is it from your perspective, aone else who would want to touch on it as well? >> thanks for bringing that up. i should have at least in my testimony. i think it's such a crucial
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element of overl security and stability in central africa. we've battled internally within our organizations and the groups that care about the nrla. we've put out this report car and i was trying to give the administration ds and fs. everybody was, like, no, they'll just demoralize everyone. i feel like there is o major thing that has to be done. i mean, the elephant is swinging its tail around the living room is that you have to create a focused military strategy to apprehend or whatever the leadership of the lords resistance army. as long as joseph coney continues to run around, we've presented him with a very fair peace deal, peace proposal which he didn't even bother to show up to not sign. so there's a military option that needs to be exercised. what has happened now over the last three years is a broader counterinsurgency strategy where millions and millions of dollars and thousands of ugandan troops are running around central
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africa attacking units, and often those are conscripted child soldiers. i don't think that kind of a broad counterinsurgency strategy has any chance of working. we need to target the leadership, use our technical assets that are superior to anyone's in the world, enre that they're out there. we robustly support a commando unit to be able to close and act on a hot lead and take these guys out. hopefully we'll apprehend them and send them to hague and there will be a great trial and the icc will have a major success. if not, let's do what we have to do to bring an end to this tragedy because the attacks in the congo are getting worse, not better. we've seen almost an attack every week over the last few months in northeastern congo. and these are remote areas. no one knows. every once in a while a report trickles in and makes a little column in a local newspaper here in the united states. that's not even -- we're not even looking at this anymore. so we have to refocus and say what is the thing that's going
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to end it? that's the catalyst i think that will end it. >> i think he makes a really good point. absolutely i've seen people, i've seen evidence of this stuff and people who are after it. there are really good people involved in trying to pursue some of the goals that john's talking about. and you do hear every month or two, well, 40 people got killed. oftentimes it will two, three days or a week to even come through. and then i think it's equally important to maintain a focus on the fdlr in eastern congo. they really are the people that -- well, in their leadership now committed the genocide, then fle to zaire, injected this toxic poison. it wasn't like people weren't raping one another in zaire. that's where everyone in rwanda was going to party and dance when rwanda was the uptight couldn't friday in the easterrl '90s. these people who committed these
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barbaric crimes, it got contious and further ruptured the social fabric, two wars and obliterated the infrastructure. these guys are still there and they're still killing civilians all the time. they're a big part in who's committinghe rapes and they're the big ones that we need to support the effort to do that despe some pushback. i think it's important to remember there's the cndp. obviously they've committed a lot of crimes and they're part of the army -- congo has very open said peace first, justice second. they're in a tough spot with that kind of thing. the fdlr there's no question about. that part of the country will not be safe until that militia is dea with as well as the nlra. thank you. >> one final statement or question. there's no doubt that senator
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danforth, had he not initiated the work with regards to the comprehensive peace agreement in the congo, tre probably would not have been a comprehensive peace agreement. in sudan. and in like manner in northern ireland had it not been for senator mitchell, it is unlikely that a peace agreement would have been hammered out there between two disparate parties that were at each other's throats for decades. one last appeal, when ambassador yamamoto said he would take it under advisement with regards to the special repor special envoy, i didn't get a very strong sense of affirmation there. if you could, all of you if you'd like, make one final appeal to the administration, because time is running. and the fear is that if we don't have someone who can really cobble together all the disparate elements here and really push hard, this may be opportunity lost. >> yes, i just would like to
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reemphasize that it's the key thing if we're going to see success in the drc. and it's vital. and finally, i certainly would like to commend you, ms. mccain, for, you know, when you said you've been involved since 1994 to continue to be way aad of the curve, i really commend you for that and for your continued interest. thank you. >> yeah, thank you very much. the special adviser. i haven't heard any good arguments against it. we've been talking about it and going everywhere and asking about it. no one can tell me why it's a bad idea. it's the one appointment i could say potentially who knows? 100,000 lives? 500,000 lives? a lot. it will make a big difference if it helps prevent another outbreak of violence and destruction. i don't know washingt. i'm not an expert. i hear it's a tough place because you've got turf battles and bureaucracy. fortunately that's your business and not mine. i'm really pleased to be
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encouraged by you and to be empowered by you to continue to advocate for this because i, too, think it's really important. and i know that ambassador y yamamoto will give us his support. it would really help us to go to the secretary, if necessary to president obama. thank you again. >> mr. smith? >> you might ask -- you've been asking probably why we should have it. maybe we should just turn the question around and ask why not, see if they can come up with an answer. >> yes. >> chairman, you started off speaking about the elections. and i think that my final appeal would regard increasing women's political participation. as i said before, we're at a critical juncture, and we're not seeing women represented. in fact, not only are they being
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sidelined, but they're being cast out of the process. and to give you an example, after enduring sustained pressure by their male counterparts, three female mayors in south kebu, grouping of cities, quite a high position, in fact, administrative position, were forced out of office. the bishop of vucavu had gone to them and tried to encourage them to carry out their political mandate and represent women and girls' needs. and finally, in november, they were fired. it's unacceptable. and if women do not represent themselves and their needs, their health, their education needs, then who will? we're not seeing others in the drc represent their needs. so that would be my final appeal. thank you. >> i think we need to understand that the system is like we've
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got this. we've got this under control. system doesn't like aberrations. they don't like these things like special envoys and other kind of exceptions to the rule. that's just the way institutions work and the state department is no different than any other institution. my understanding is, and this is what i fear, and this is what i think -- and i'm glad we got our last chance to say this because i want to impart this to you, is my fear is that they're going to give this position. they're going to create the title of it and then give it to a deputy assistant secretary of state. they're going to dual hat a deputy assista secretary of state and say yes, that's going to be our point perso our lead person. again, no human being has enough time to be a deputy assistant secretary of state of any regional bureau in the u.s state department and be a special envoy to one of the most complicated countries in the world, definitely the most complicated i've ever been in in 25 years orcing in africa. that would be a tragic mistake.
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secondly, i think that position needs juice, sorry to use a hollywood term, you need influen influence, gravitas, someone who can make the system respond t different ideas, new ideas to doing things in a way that are actually going to get results and bring an end to something rather than manage symptoms. and that person -- that person needs to report to the secretary of state as opposed to being just only in a regional bureau. i think these are the keys to success. and if we don't have them, it's just going to be another spoke in a wheel failure. >> thank you. ms. mccain. >> lastly, i would just like to thank all of you again for paying attention to this issue, for listening to us, for allowing us to tell you our thoughts and where we think the most important parts lie. and most importantly chanting this issue from here because we'll be following you. we're going to watch. and we really encoure you to continue in such a wholehearted way. as a mother and the only thing i
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> today laura meckler and
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patricia murphy to discuss the latest congressional negotiations on a bill to fund the federal government through september. then cutting foreign aid during this set at downturn. then the discussion on the success and struggles of of the medicare program. "washington journal" live today at 7:00 a.m. here on c-span. can a potential republican presidential contenders have been making stops in key primary states. this weekend, michelle bachman in nashville and new hampshire. -- nashua, new hampshire. >> the house returns on monday
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at noon eastern for morning our speeches. at 2:00 p.m., a legislative budget -- legislative business. this federal spending bill should extend funding for three more weeks. current this -- current funding expires march 18. also the end of foreclosure assistance programs. dennis kucinich plans to offer a war powers resolution that would require president obama to withdraw all u.s. armed forces from afghanistan by the end of the year. follow the house live on c-span. the senate returns monday at 2:00 p.m. eastern. that will take up the nomination of the u.s. court of the district of columbia. at 5:30 p.m., the first votes of the week on the nomination and to move forward with the reauthorization of small business administration
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programs. live coverage of the u.s. senate when members return always on c- span2. >> the head of the customer and borders protection agency, john bersin, spoke about the budget before the house appropriations committee. it would save $100 million by reducing over time pay for border agents. this is about an hour and 25 minutes. >> cbt has experienced dramatic growth in the last eight years.
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it is the largest agency within the department of homeland security, with a budget of $11.8 billion, and given the seriousness of their mission, and considering the continuing threat we face, congress has provided robust reinforces resources. we expect to see results for those investments. commissioner, at a time of financial crisis, the american people are demanding accountability for every dollar spent. that is why i am pleased to see your budget pledging to cut costs on front-line operations. as i said before, these are parties of this subcommittee. i'm concerned that the present request includes undefined efficiencies and administer it in savings that will likely impact operations. for example, the request cuts $60 million from air and marine
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personnel and assets which will likely reduce surveillance of the southwestern border. it reduces over time flexibility for officers by $20 million that will likely increase week times at ports of entry. i am not convinced that this stabilizes cbt budget, it's less support investment in assets needed to meet the mission. during this time of fiscal crisis, there are two the things that we need, truth in budgeting and clear results. the so-called efficiencies and savings and mentioned earlier account for $330 million. some proposals represent real savings, but the rest for merely budget -- the president's request also proposed a hypothetical increase of custom user fees of $55 million for
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fiscal year 2012. authorizing legislation would be needed to require passengers entering the united states from canada and mexico to pay the fee. if not enacted, the history tells us these changes are difficult to enact. there will likely expect that subcommittee to fill that $55 million hole. the second thing that we need is results, a clear understanding out your request supports operational needs. united states has invested billions in the borders operations in recent years. in particular, in this agency. we're scheduled to hear from the border patrol next year on detail operations, but today, commissioner, allan afford to a clear understanding on how you define operational control of the border and your plan to get there. the subcommittee is please to
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have another here. i like to see how this supports the overseas operation to secure travel in the united states. the american public demands straightforward answers to our border security efforts. truth and transparency are essential in this fiscal climate. i appreciate you appearing before us today, and thank you in advance for your candor in helping us to understand your budget request for fiscal year 2012. alike to recognize the subcommittee's distinguished ranking member, mr. price, for his opening remarks. >> i will be very brief. because of the joint session, we will be pressed for time. let me welcome you, commissioner.
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just five years ago, the number of border agents who patrolled in the coastal waters surrounding clark have grown by 70%, from -- to 29 -- meanwhile the number of officers has grown by 18%, to more than 21,186 officers in 2012, largely to enhance the southwest border port of entry operations. the 2012 budget request for a place for every reliance on people for all of your activities, with over 67% for salary and benefits alone. from 2010-2012, that grew by $1.1 billion. this leaves very few dollars to invest in new technologies and tools for your personnel. and to connect maintenance on your facilities. during this time of fiscal
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restraint, you most likely will be asked to do more with less. we need to make sure that in doing so, critical operations are not negatively affected. your agency carries on one of the core functions of vhs, keeping dangerous goods and people out of the country what desolating law of all across the border movement. it is a ever-changing threat environment, requiring an agency flexible 14-leaning, making good use of intelligence, properly -- preferably accept -- intercepting threats before they reach our borders. i commend you on the progress of your initiatives and i am pleased that and that -- note the expansion of this in your budget requests along with additional funds for targeting capabilities. recognizing staffing needs, i'm
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glad you propose to 300 new officers and canine teams. i want to call attention to your efforts to the critically important area of office or integrity. your purpose to enhance the polygraph program and conduct timely background investigations. i have concerns about what is missing from this request for an onion of funding -- no new funding for arc -- air cargo security, even though you asked for additional resources after the plot out of yemen last fall. the budget substantially reduces funding to your facilities, delaying maintenance and repairs and alterations. it reduces programs which jerome budget brief says will affect the ability to transport in border security missions. the budget contains changes in maritime contender security efforts that seem to be at odds with what but the secretary and your agency have been proposing
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for the last years. a look for to discussing each of these in detail during the hearing today. commissioner, we held the men and women of your agency in the highest regard and the work that you and they do day in and day out. many operations aren't very dangerous areas. they put their lives on the line to protect as. we will discuss this more in detail next week at our hearing on the southwest border violence. as we begin this hearing, it is important to note that no program or account will be off- limits to scrutiny. our obligation is to take a realistic approach and to make prudent investment. i have no doubt that you share this. and you and i look forward to working with you again this year. >> thank you, mr. price. commissioner, we thank you for being here this morning and taking time to adjust the subcommittee. we would at this time like to
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hear testimony. >> the morning and thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member price, cbp, all of the 60,000 employees join me in thanking this committee and the congress for the support you have provided, the resources and funding necessary to accomplish the missions that the nation as a sign customs and border protections. i understand, mr. chairman, that the time is limited today, so i will shorten and already brief statement so that we can get to the questions and answers. i want to reiterate and emphasize the high points. customs and border protection is charged with keeping dangerous people and dangerous things out of the american homeland, away from american communities and families. we do that in terms of two
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direct approaches. first we are charged with protecting the land borders of the united states, the southwest border, which has garnered most of the attention in the last eight years because of the activities there, and in mexico, but it also encompasses the canadian border, more than 5,400 miles on the northern border from maine to seattle, and the state of washington. and it also encompasses in concert with the united states coast guard, responsibilities on maritime approaches off the coast of the united states. the resources that this committee has provided have had an impact and will continue to have an impact on all of those missions having to do with the border. we also look at the border not simply as a boundary between the united states and mexico and the estates in canada, but we look at it as securing the flow of
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goods and people toward the united states. their twin dimensions to this issue is the ranking member and chairman both indicated. forever responsibility to secure the flows to be sure that dangerous people in dangerous things are identified as far away from the physical borders as possible, and as early in time as possible, and that is why we have the international cbp.rint we also have the expedites cent of -- expediting of global trade and traffic. by assessing risk in being able to distinguish between trusted travels, trusted shippers, and those about whom are about which we have a adverse information, or about which we lack sufficient information to make a judgment as to how we ought to expedite their passage across our physical borders.
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these mission sets, securing the land border, southwest border, the northern border, the look for roles, and also securing a flow of goods and people such as the immigration advisory program are the contenders security initiative, those of the ways in which we accomplish our tasks. the 2012 budget proposed by the administration, under consideration by this committee in the congress, provides us with the resources that we need to do this job. it is not a perfect budget. it ever is. but i hope that in discussions with this committee and generally between the administration and the congress, that we can still gaps that are perceived to exist and continue the progress that we have made, both in protecting the land borders, protecting the aviation borders, protecting the maritime approaches, and also securing flows of people and goods so
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that we can continue to partner with the private sector the park -- to process $2 trillion of imports that come into the united states each year, and we can also expedite the movement of $1.8 trillion in exports that leave this country each year. with regard to the challenges rather than going into them as i thought i originally would, i think the ranking member and the chairman have each raised the major challenges that we face with regard to maintaining the personnel, also maintaining the ability to make efficiencies under the time of constrained budget, and yet keep the productivity of our men and women at cbp high and growing, and make their activities more efficient and effective at the same time. with that, mr. chairman and in
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the interest of beginning the dialogue so critical to this enterprise, let me again thank you on behalf of the 58,000 men and women andcbp for the support this committee has already shown in its efforts. thank you, sir. >> thank you, commissioner. we will enter your full statement into the record. we thank you for your opening comments. the first issue of like to bring up is border security. the united states has made significant investments in the press to go directly and in the law enforcement agency, particularly the department of homeland security, to counter drug organizations and to assist but calderon administration. while these efforts are disrupting cartel activity, it demeans the remains to be seen
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what the end goal is and how we intend to get there, especially as the call the run administration draws to an end in 2012. how would you describe our progress collectively, the united states and mexico, to undermine the drug-trafficking organizations and what evidence of the impact on the cartel? >> an issue critical to our border security and also to our national security. the enterprise of cooperation with mexico is a work in process, but in fact, we have started down a path that is truly historical. the decision in 2006 of president called around calderon, to take on the crime elements that had about that did mexican society, having a detrimental effect on our border and our country, was truly a
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turning point in mexican history and in the history of our two countries, particularly of the border. that effort has led to the kind of violence that we have seen in mexico that has resulted in the deaths of more than 35,000 mexicans since 2006. recognizing how critical mexican national security is to our own borders security, and i would argue, our national security, the obama administration continuing to work of merit up meri -- continuing the work of merida, it is a work in process. but i think we have achieved something that is critical as we look forward. regardless of the changes that might take place in the leadership of the united states or mexico, i believe we have with our neighbor to the south for the first time since the 19th century treaty that ended
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the u.s.-mexican war, reached a level of collaboration and cooperation that will never, ever go back to where it was, where we had corrupt borders, not by one borders, but never terribly cooperative borders between the united states and mexico. key to this is the understanding between president obama and president calderon, that the issue of guns going south end cash going south and froze going north, is not the object of finger-pointing which it has been the u.s. and much of our history. mexico blaming us for the consumption of drugs and for the violent crime, mexicans blame in the united states for the passage of weapons into mexico without accepting the notion that there was a mafia of frightening proportions growing in their country. that actually and thankfully is
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a matter of the past. for the first time in our history, instead of pointing fingers of one another, the united states and mexico recognize drugs coming north, guns in cash going south has been part of a common problem for which we have shared responsibility. that acceptance, mr. chairman, has permitted us for the first time to not only designed common solutions but be well along the path of implementing them. it is a major change. >> just to follow up on that, you mentioned it had changed historic plea, the finger- pointing, and as the presidential election year approaches, 2011 is a critical year. alderon is under increasing pressure internally,
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and lately we have seen evidence of lashing out at the united states. i know that he has called him that his state's notoriously insufficient by reducing drug use, which they have not done, and the flow of weapons has not slowed. it has increased. while the tone was better in the calderon meetings last week, there was still that concern. let me follow up with you on that. >> i think that that is an index of the relationship that we have now. when your engaged in the kind of partnership that we now have, there can be candor, even publicly candid, remarks about the shortcomings that are perceived in the performance of the other partner. for example, yes, the fact is that president calderon underlines with regard to drug
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trafficking the critical role played by drug consumption in this country. the also outlines with regard to illegal immigration the lack of legitimate labor market between the united states and mexico, and the desire on the part of some americans for quotes secure borders and cheap labor. i look on that as candor and frank discussion that will allow us to address those issues together. for example, we look which we. add to the mexicans in ways that were unsalable even three or five years ago that what they have a major problem of corruption in their law enforcement. their state and local law enforcement, much of their judiciary unfortunately, remains plagued by problems of corruption. those of the kind of public statements and acknowledgements i think it reflects a deeper partnership and the day-to-day potential for cooperation that has ever existed before. but i take your point.
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there are candid exchanges between partners that in fact our people, both -- that our people need to hear and understand. >> you have stated in your public comments that the borders security has never been, but this assertion does not tell us how close we are to maintain control of the border. given the billions that we have invested in to the border, what is your goal for border security and how close are we to achieving it? >> the critical question, well ask and reasonably ask. what the border security needs -- let me begin by perhaps describing what it does not mean and cannot mean. if we understand the border security to be the absence of
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any illegal migration of all, across the united states borders, or the absence of any drug smuggling it all, then we have set a goal that is impractical and now possible in terms of an absolute ceiling of the american border. that would be an issue of resources and an issue of actually having to correct those problems, as i indicated in response to your previous answer, which has led to an understanding that the consumption of drugs in this country is as much a part of the problem as the smuggling of drugs by organized criminals in mexico across the border. we need to work on that, and with efforts, we are making a very serious effort in curtailing drug use and seeing some progress. the same thing with regard to the labor market. as long as the jobs magnet
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exists, we will see this flow. but mr. chairman, security means that these are not close that disrupt american family life, a community life, either in border communities or in the interior of our country. there we need to basically take the position that if you try to cross into our country illegally, either to smuggle drugs or work here illegally, you will be detected in you will be arrested. and that is the sense in which we approach our task at customs and borders protection. i am pleased to report you to it -- that certainly five years ago, certainly tenures ago, and i know myself having started with the border first is the united states attorney in the southern district of california 15 years ago, that the border is actually more secure that it has ever been in terms of this.
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in detecting in apprehending those who come into the country illegally. having said that, we have considerable work to do, particularly in the tucson sector. that's after -- that sector, half of the illegal immigration in the united states comes to that court. half of the marijuana smuggling into the united states and mexico takes place through that corridor. that is why the secretary napolitano beginning in march 2009 began the greatest buildup of resources in arizona that we have ever seen. as your committee has facilitated the growth of the border patrol, says that by the end of the fiscal year 2012, we will have many border patrol agents, i remember in 1993 when
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i first became involved with the border, we had 2800 border patrol agents in the entire country. we now have nearly 10 times that many, and they are being used to good effect. and it is better than in the tucson sector where we have more than 6000 customs and border protection people between the ports of entry and at the ports of entry, and they are showing results and they were. what do we mean by bringing that border under control and that sector under control? it means reducing the flow of illegal traffic into the net is states from mexico to a point that is assuring public safety and is perceived by the people who live on the border and those who live in arizona as being safe and secure. i can tell you having lived and worked myself, and my family still lives on the border
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between baha california and california. in 1984, when proposition 187 was passed by the people of california, the proposition that was reminiscent of arizona's 1070 last year in the context of arizona politics, 565,000 illegal immigrants, illegal aliens crossed over from the mexico and were arrested on the san diego-tijuana border. at least twice that many, mr. chairman, that by the border patrol and made their way up to los angeles. today, the situation is completely different in terms of the resources congress has provided. we have more than 3000 border patrol agents in the san diego sector. we have a complete set up a structure in terms of fencing.
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